The Bloggernacle in Queen’s Creek

December 28, 2005

Geoff and Kristen J. hosted a wonderful Bloggernacle gathering in Queen’s Creek, AZ last night. They have a beautiful home, beautiful children, and an uplifting spirit about them. Both bloggers and commenters showed up, and we discussed many aspects of the Bloggernacle in 2005. The general consensus was the Geoff looked nothing like the picture of him on his band website and that Kristen was just as cool in real life as on the blog. Not only is their blog named New Cool Thang, but Geoff’s pet name around the house is "Sweet Thang," apparently.

Thank you Geoff and Kristen for your excellent hospitality. It was wonderful to meet you and all of those who showed up.


Comfort and Joy

December 25, 2005

One of my favorite Christmas memories was a Christmas feast I attended at St. Edmund Hall, Oxford, while a graduate student there. There was a cracker on the chair and all the other trappings of a traditional English Christmas, but it was also magical for an American LDS student to attend this Oxford feast that was so thoroughly Anglican. The college pastor was there and gave the prayer. The tables were lit with candles and everyone, including myself, was in white-tie and academic robes.

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Today We Remember the Seer Whom They Foresaw

December 23, 2005

Two hundred years ago today, Joseph Smith, Jr. was born. In spite of numerous and severe hardships occasioned by his low birth and station on the rugged American frontier of 1805, he would go on to fulfil a mission ordained of Jesus Christ and foreseen by prophets of old. He would become the Prophet of the Dispensation of the Fulness of Times, a period foreseen by none other than Peter of old (Acts 3:21), and the Apostle Paul (Eph. 1:10).

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The Democratic Judge, a new translation

December 16, 2005

Several consecutive hours of document review late at night can set your mind to Bertolt Brecht’s poetry (it’s a complicated thought process, in this case aided by Kulturblog’s discussion of international literature). Thus, I have been thinking of Brecht’s great poem, Der demokratische Richter ("The Democratic Judge"), for a couple of hours and now inflict a new, rough translation of it on the world through this blog. Brecht’s poetry has a charm I’ve not encountered elsewhere.

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Service Chilling Effect

December 14, 2005

Jesus wasn’t too hung up on Kant’s Categorical Imperative, as he made clear when he said, Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven (Matt. 5:16, 3 Ne. 12:16). Based on this type of reasoning, we often hear injunctions in Church that we should serve others coupled with self-serving statements that it will make the Church look good or make the people served think highly of the Church.

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Santa Claus is Biblical!!

December 11, 2005

Several people have expressed concerns about celebrating pagan symbols, such as Santa Claus, at Christmas, since he is a "lie".   Well- I am here to lay all your concerns to rest, because the Old Testament prophesies of Santa!!! So let’s open up our Old Testaments, shall we?

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On British Fortitude, a Case Study

December 10, 2005

Congratulations to Ms. Gill Hicks of London on her wedding today (hattip: OxBlog). When the Luftwaffe was bombing London, defiant Londoners taught the world a lesson about fortitude. That British fortitude lives on as exemplified by Ms. Hicks, who lost 75 % of her blood when the Tube was bombed on July 7.

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SHHH! Don’t let the Court know…

December 10, 2005

We recently set up our Christmas tree. As previously described, to me a Christmas tree is rife with religious symbolism.  But SHHHHH! Don’t tell Justice Blackmun (or his successors) that the Christmas tree, like the menorah, is a religious symbol.  Otherwise, you will soon see no more Christmas trees in public places.  Consider why not:

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ייִדיש!:נייע און אלטע לידער

December 9, 2005

I just found a great blog .  It is full of Yiddish songs and poetry, both new and old, as well as great Jewish art and Yiddish-culture oriented photographs.  Check it out:

נייע און אלטע לידער

[naye un alte lider]

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Missionary Journal: Leipzig, Germany, December 9, 1995

December 9, 2005

I have decided to start posting once a week or so some excerpts from my missionary experiences in Germany 10 years ago, for what it’s worth.  They are interesting for me to read, and maybe for you too! Or maybe not…

I’ll try to always post on the exact day I wrote back then!

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